More Running Gear? 7 Budget-Friendly Tips for Runners

Do you want (or need) new running gear or shoes?

If you've convinced yourself you NEED new shoes or running gear, you're not alone.🤣🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️

Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. 

Either way... 

👉Before you spend a small fortune on a pair of carbon-plated running shoes, an ultra-fancy running watch, or a whole new running wardrobe, check out these budget-friendly tips for runners.

When it's time to buy new running gear...

Whether you are a new runner or experienced athlete, I think we’ve all seen that gearing up can put a real dent in your wallet.

Working in running stores...

  • I’ve seen people enter the shop for the first time and panic when they see the price tags. 
  • Some costs are unavoidable, but there are ways to balance things out and save money. 

Before reading through this list, it is important to note that everyone is different.

I once worked with someone who used a great analogy when fitting a customer for running shoes. 

  • There are some people who could simply throw most any pair of running shoes on their feet and go run a marathon.
  • There are some people who need every bell and whistle to stay healthy. 
  • Most people will fall in the middle. 

👉Ready to save some $$$ on new running gear?🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️

Here's what you need to know...

1. Spend now to save later

1. Spend now to save later

There are some things that I never encourage people to cut corners on. The big one...

Running shoes.

I always tell friends that are getting into running to commit to spending at least $120 on their first pair of shoes. 

I know it’s a lot, but shoes are important! 

Even before I worked in run specialty retail, I was a strong proponent of getting fitted for shoes by someone who knows what they are doing. 

  • Finding the perfect fit for your running shoes can help prevent injuries and other expensive problems down the line. 
  • Good running shoes will also last you 300-500 miles on average, so think of it as an investment. 
  • Getting fit for shoes by a professional also gives you an opportunity to ask questions about running, training, racing, and more.
2. Follow your local running stores on social media

2. Follow your local running stores on social media

FYI...We love local running stores.

  • Instagram, Facebook, and (maybe) Twitter (thanks Elon Musk), are great resources to stay up to date on any sales coming up at your favorite store. 

Whether it’s for a holiday, an upcoming race the store is sponsoring, or a store anniversary, retailers will often advertise these sales on their social media platforms.

(Did someone say Black Friday deals?)

  • Deals such as 3-for-1 socks or 25% off apparel can save you a ton of money! They may even do the occasional contest that could score you free gear. 
3. Shop end-of-season sales

3. Shop end-of-season sales

We're right on the edge of waving goodbye to fall to kick of the winter season. And that's a good thing if you're a runner.

Similar to other clothing stores, running specialty stores will typically have sales between the seasons.

Here's how it works in retail:

  • Brands create new styles and colors every year.
  • Warm clothes will typically go on sale at the end of the winter season
  • Items such as shorts and tank tops will hit the sale racks at the end of summer

If you looking for a deal on running gear, plan out your purchases so you can stock up when these items go on sale!

The same is true for running shoes:

  • Running shoes update every season.
  • Sometimes it's a color change
  • Sometimes a brand will make design changes based on sales and feedback. 

TIP: When you get fitted for shoes, ASK if they have any older models on sale in your size. You’re more likely to luck out here if you have a less common shoes size in a normal width. 

4. Join a rewards program

4. Join a rewards program

Like the WeeViews Rising Stars program

  •  If you're looking to advance your running career while also making a difference in the running community. you'll want to build your way up to Rising Star status to open up sponsorship and free gear opportunities through WeeViews. 

There's also more traditional rewards programs..

A lot of stores, such as Fleet Feet, have reward programs for their customers. 

  • When you hit a particular benchmark in dollars spent, you can get a discount on a future purchase. 
  • This can save you money if you plan out your purchases, and usually these discounts have a good shelf life. 

TIP: Keep track of how much you’re spending and pay attention to when you have a discount coming up. Just make sure you know what the expiration dates are!  

5. Know where to shop

5. Know where to shop

 I love to shop local, but sometimes I like to shop my favorite warehouse sites to balance out the cost, like:

These are great places to find apparel on the cheap!

I don’t typically get my running shoes here because I prefer to try them on in the store, but the clothing can be a steal. I’m talking $12 for a pair of shorts from a previous season!

TIP: As always, whenever buying online, make sure you check out their return policies and shipping costs!  

6. Choose quality over quantity

6. Choose quality over quantity

Running apparel is expensive, but the truth is that you don’t necessarily need a ton of it.

I always told customers, especially those new to the sport, that you can get away with one or two key outfits.

For the winter, you need:

  • Pants/tights
  • Underwear/socks
  • Base layer.  The base layer will wick away moisture while keep you warm, as opposed to cotton, which will trap moisture, leaving you cold 
  • Shell.  A quality, weatherproof shell will go a long way in keeping you warm. 
  • Hat/gloves 

TIP: Even if you’re running every day, you don’t need seven different outfits. 

  • Many top brands use materials that are anti-microbial, dry quickly, and reduce odor. 
  • Simply leave the clothes out to dry and throw them on for the next run. 
  • Then when you do wash them, let them dry overnight and you are good to go. 
7. Take care of your gear to make it last

7. Take care of your gear to make it last

You've heard the advice before: Take care of your gear, and it will last longer! 

But are you doing this?

Most of this is simple, but it takes a little time. 

  • Untie your running shoes instead of scraping them off with the opposite foot. 
  • Clean out your hydration pack after every run.
  • Follow the fabric-care guidelines for washing/drying running clothes.
  • Rotate your running shoes. And retire the old ones from running (usually 300 to 500 miles).
  • Keep track of accessories like massage tools, reflective gear, belts, bags, compression gear, recovery sandals, and headlamps. Many of these items you may need to only purchase once if you take care of them.

It sounds like something parents tell their kids, "If you don't take care of your things, they get lost or broken." Make sense?

Are you on the hunt for running gear deals?

Tell us what's on your wish list, and search for a WeeView for your favorite shoes or running gear.

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Brigid Heenan
Rochester, NY

Former college runner Current road racer Running gear nerd Recreational blogger

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